Everyone needs to stop living in the past, especially the "liberal left". For them, the ghost of the blessed Margaret Hilda still haunts just about every one of the writers and commentators in the left-leaning media, especially the Guardian and BBC. It would be pathetic were it not symptomatic of an ongoing and dangerous obsession which is denying the immutable reality of where we are today.
Now pay attention: barring scientific breakthroughs (which would be entirely possible if we invested as much in looking for them as we are in propping up dodgy financiers) there is no more cheap energy to pay for any "traditional" growth. All the opportunity to do some good in 1997 has been frittered away in Blair/Broon's vast ballooning of a pensionable client state.
Oil will reach $200 before we recover to the pre-crunch levels of prosperity. And Broon's £ will be worth 25c by then, anyway. The options we have now appear to be...
- No retirement while the quack says you can still lift a shovel
- A ruthless end to all forms of avoidable waste - especially in the black holes of education and health
- Much less pointless travel - we have networks and HDTV
- More investment in "proper" sustainable energy - like nuclear/hydrogen
- A steeply reduced population - are you watching Survivors, eh?
Paradoxically, none of that will be achieved through any form of socialist dream. The only way to shift attitudes sufficiently is to recognise basic human nature, and the bad news is that is most assuredly not "fair shares for all", because every incarnation of socialism anywhere on the planet to date has ended up with a unimaginative ruling elite ruthlessly exploiting an oppressed population to feather their personal nests and further their personal ambitions.
An expression that can perhaps win broad support is "fair rewards for all".
Every single last socialist "regime" has ended in personal corruption - even Tony Blair left office richer beyond the wildest dreams of most of his supporters, when most of the country suspected he and his cronies should have been questioned rather harder by the police on various counts.
As for the bleating about the meltdown of global capitalism, a trace run on the tsunami that overwhelmed the world's economies reveals that the source was Clinton's Democrats instructing US institutions to relax lending rules to appease voters. Pretty much what dopey Darling and calamitous King are doing right now!
There is an option for those who long for a dose of proper socialism: go and live in Zimbabwe, Cuba or North Korea.